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From classic Espresso drinks and Australian specialties like the Honey Badger and Mocha Nut lattes to house-made Aussie Pies and baked café goods, The Kookaburra has become a St. Augustine favorite for more than just a delicious, caffeinated beverage. It’s quickly become a beloved meeting place for friends, business meetings and any other reason you can find to get together.
The locally-owned and operated Australian-American coffee shop quickly grew from its original location on Cathedral Place, opened in July of 2012, and now boasts four locations including the beach, downtown, SR 312 and a new, full-service coffee roastery at the St. Augustine Shipyard.
Owners Spencer Hooker and Megan Vida opened their first store in 2012 and they’ve been growing organically every since.
“We were living in Atlanta and working corporate jobs when we came to visit my uncle in St. Augustine,” says Hooker. “We noticed pretty quickly that there weren’t really any good coffee places in town…For years, we had an informal business concept of melding together American and Australian coffee cultures,” says Hooker. “After visiting St. Augustine, we had turned in our resignation letters at our jobs within three months and started packing for the move.”
Vidal was born and raised in Colorado while Hooker, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Australia, grew up splitting his time between Alaska and the Land Down Under. He cites Australia’s strong coffee culture in describing himself as a “coffee aficionado.”
If you’ve visited a Kookaburra location, you’ve no doubt noticed the importance of stellar customer service and a welcome environment that Vidal and Hooker have created among their team.
“I’ve been to coffee shops all over the world,” says Vidal, “…and there is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable when ordering a cup of coffee. We treat our customers the way we would want to be treated and that’s a guiding philosophy that will not waver.”
As for the future of Kookaburra, Hooker says they’ll be focusing on the company’s new roastery side of things as well as continuing to add to and refine their menu with gluten-free, vegan and dairy free items.
“We knew there would be a lot of risk and uncertainty in starting The Kookaburra,” says Hooker. “But we were always willing to take on those risks and it’s just been a natural evolution ever since.”
The Kookaburra – Click to Visit Website
24 Cathedral Place
647 A1A Beach Blvd
1835 US HWY 1 South #133